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What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a new approach to health care. Functional medicine is a superior way to help tackle chronic health conditions.

Unlike disease-focused medical care, functional medicine is geared toward helping individuals achieve their optimal health. We specialize in getting to the source of symptoms like chronic fatigue, weak immune system, bloating, and hormonal imbalances. Many of these symptoms are very common, but that doesn’t make them normal. We do this by analyzing blood work on a different scale from what the majority of medical doctors use. The commonly accepted reference ranges for blood work are a standard deviation of the population; meaning, these ranges are statistically developed based on the average of the population to make the “normal range”. Functional medicine’s reference ranges are based on analysis of the most current research to find the optimal range needed to not only prevent disease, but achieve overall good health.

We aim to shift the paradigm from a disease-focused to a patient-focused approach to healthcare. Many people do not have optimal health. In the conventional sense, one’s blood work may appear healthy and “normal.” Functional medicine, however, uses a more narrow, research-based reference range, with an aim toward optimal health (rather than just “not diseased.”). Often, labs come back looking healthy and “normal” but many people still struggle with irritating health issues like pain, insomnia, constipation, loose stools, chronic fatigue, etc.

With simple screening tools, similar to the basic labs that are run by your primary care physician, many health concerns can be prevented or reversed with early detection. With functional medicine we are looking for the cause of your health issues, rather than just treating your symptoms. Functional medicine is meant to not only treat chronic illness and prevent disease, but to promote vitality and improve a person’s overall quality of life. This is accomplished by using dietary and lifestyle changes, in conjunction with scientifically proven herbal and vitamin regimens.

How is Functional Medicine Different From Conventional Medicine?

Aside from the differences in blood analysis, the major difference between treatment practices is the amount of time spent with our patients, running the necessary testing and identifying lifestyle factors (diet, environment, emotion, etc.) that help influence long-term health. Much of what we do is aimed to treat metabolic disease/dysfunction processes and prevent future disease.

Most medical practitioners are very well versed in treating acute, life-threatening diseases. With functional medicine we are focused on improving the quality of life for people suffering from more chronic conditions such as diabetes, autoimmunity, IBS, heart disease, and mood disorders We personalize treatment for the individual based on their chemistry and environment. We apply strategies such as nutrition, herbal and vitamin complexes, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in our patients without using medications that have a lot of unwanted side effects.

-Shireen W.

It’s been a genuine, healthy detox, and I am PROUD and honored that Dr. Barter took me on as a patient! I highly highly recommend working with her! I’m still stunned at how quickly my life has changed to being better than even before! I am eternally grateful! Thank you, Dr. Barter!!!!!!!!!